to buy or not to buy

I have many shopping dilemmas in my life right now.  Very unimportant ones.  But ones nonetheless.  Warning: completely pointless blog post about nothing much.

First…do I take the time to make cupcakes for Josiah’s class even though I’ll be in the midst of planning his big bday party or do I order cupcakes from the the catering service that does their hot lunch at school…more expensive but I wouldn’t even have to see them… or buy store-bought gross ones?

Second…i really really really really want a comfy outdoor chair to drink my coffee in while all my lil kiddies frolic in the pool this summer. heheh… there are some decent looking, good priced swivel (which i love- the swivel part) chairs at Lowes but then there’s this atrociously ugly but delectably comfortable (i’m talking PLUSH) chair at a local overpriced outdoor furniture store in the next town over that is very much on sale…(*sister you know the one)  I kinda know what I want here, but it’s the husband that needs to get on board.  He says it looks like the type of furniture you’d find on the side of the road in the 80’s.  I totally agree but then I sat in it.  I went back TWICE to make sure it felt as awesome as I thought the first time. alas.

Third…i’m torn in the area of maya’s swimsuits this summer.  you see, every summer Janie and Jack sucks me in like a tornado and I can’t resist-I don’t really buy anything else except for suits.  She hasn’t needed more than a couple suits until this summer (i’m anticipating the pool/beach a lot more for her this year) and I am having a hard time finding anything cuter than J & J.  So, do I just get her some cheap ugly ones to fill in, or do I have her send a begging letter to her grandma or do I just go all out with janie and jack (on sale of course).  I should probably do a mix…

Fourth…I tried to order the boys adidas slides for their warm weather shoes- you know, the old school striped kind- but I’ve tried two different sizes and no luck.  Jos already chose flip-flops and I’m trying to decide whether I should just stick with the same ol’ for Regan too…so lame.

Now, since we’re talking about purchasing stuff- I’m gonna tell you what you should run to the grocery store and try… Love Crunch (red berries and dark chocolate) SERIOUSLY relish.  I get it at Target.  If you live near a Wegmans go get a bag full of flat coconut chocolate dipped cookies (mom, we got them again SO GOOD).  And the blueberries at Costco are SO good.  Also they have Finding Dory beach towels there right now…couldn’t resist getting one- which of course will be fought over but oh well.  Lastly- my new favorite diffusing combination is bergamot and grapefruit essential oils…smells heavenly. You can buy them from me for cheaper!

Okay. that’s all folks.  See, I told you.  totally pointless post.

 

nyc. sister style.

ny3My little sister told me that if I don’t blog about stuff, then it didn’t really happen.  And plus I do like having a virtual scrap book of my life as I write it here, so that’s why I’m finally succumbing to peer pressure (jk no one cares!) and documenting how I quit being an NYC hater.

Yes, you read that right.  I have not been a fan of the city (that’s what they call it here for you west coasters) for quite some time.  I was 24 years old when I got my first look at the Big Apple, and while it was awe-inducing and grand, I never cared if I visited again.  Then a year later I ended up moving to New Jersey and thus began an endless stream of visits into NYC, every time someone came to visit me.  I get it.  It’s iconic and especially since I grew up on the west coast, it’s a place that a lot of my peeps only saw in movies.

My favorite trip was my sister’s 21st birthday one- where we took a boat into downtown and then saw Wicked on Broadway…that was super awesome and memorable.  But otherwise, most times consisted of seeing the popular-but-overcrowded-not-as-cool-as-you-think tourist attractions.  I would say the Empire State building was an all time low.  Ha.  I’m such a hater.  Anyways, when we moved to the midwest almost 9 years ago I never looked back.  Okay, that’s not true…I dreamed of the ocean every night, but as for new york… if I never went again, I’d be golden.

But then, we moved back.  Somehow I’ve weaseled my way out of any trips into the city in the almost 4 years since we’ve been back, but then my sister decided it was time.  We had been talking about a sister trip somewhere and because of timing/life, she graciously offered to fly to me.  Thus a sister NYC trip evolved…but not just any city tour…this was going to be the fun unique NOT touristy adventure.  I’ll spare you the details of my waverings, just to say, as it got closer I dreaded heading into the city yet couldn’t wait for my sister to arrive.  Alas.

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I’m glad she forced me to go.  I’m the older sister by 7 years, so normally I always call the shots with us.  I’m trying to change.  Really.  But I think we’re so cemented in our roles, it’s hard to break free.  However, my condition for going was that she decide what we do, when.  We had brainstormed a list of good eats, best donuts, fav stores, experiences… and then we just had to narrow it down.  I decided we would take the train because, well, me driving in the city is quite possibly the most hilariously dangerous thing I can think of.

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Moving on.  Originally we had planned for two nights there, but because we hadn’t been able to get Jimmy Fallon tx or decide on a broadway show worth $$, we narrowed our trip to one night and ended up with a full 24 hours of adventure.  From Penn Station we took a taxi straight to our hotel, The Condor, in Brooklyn to drop our bags.  (it’s a great little hotel, found it on a deal website- safe, really nice- good place.)ny5

Then we headed straight into Williamsburg, the part of Brooklyn I’d heard lots of good things about.  We stopped in for some small bites at a cute little southern restaurant called Pies and Thighs.  If you only get one thing- fried pickles.  If you get two- add pie.  DELISH.  That meal was one of my favorites mostly because we just kept looking at each other with this “we did it” look.  We had made it.

From there, we spent the evening wandering through shops and just checking out the sites.  We stumbled upon an ice cream shop that had been on the list of possibilities, so of course we stopped.  Davey’s Ice Cream is know for speculoos chocolate chip icecream and their famous shakes, which have an entire piece of pie in each one.  Naturally, we tried both.  YUM.

 
After, we headed to a rooftop bar called The Ides (on top of the Wythe Hotel) which was literally the most amazing view of the city I’ve ever seen.  *the pic doesn’t even begin to do it justice since well, we aren’t good night photographers.*  It was dark, so everything across the river was so beautifully lit up.  One word of caution…it’s kinda little more upscale then we realized, I think my sister used the word swanky.  Ha!  We enjoyed a cocktail and giggled a lot, making up stories about the couples all around us, but didn’t stay too long.  There is also an outdoor rooftop that we only found on our way out, but next time I’d check that out.

mny8It was only a little after 9pm when we left the bar, but both of us were tired and ready for pjs, so we got a ride back to our hotel and ordered a pie (funny bc I was just thinking i’m hungry and I want a pizza, but my cute sister considered it part of the experience…a real NY pie).  I think we were both asleep by 10:30pm hehe.  We are real cra-cra.

In the morning we packed up and walked ten blocks to the BEST DOUGHNUT EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE.  I know.  You could think I’m exaggerating but it was for real, the best donut I’ve ever had in all my 36 years.   Dough Doughnuts has several locations, and we went to the one in Brooklyn.  I had been crushing on the Lemon Poppyseed donut on instagram for many months and dude, it delivered….so fresh and airy and flavorful.  THE BEST.

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Then we headed towards the Brooklyn bridge…this was the only tourist thing Erica had requested to do.  Our intention was to walk across it, so we were planning on hailing a taxi to get there, instead of spending an hour walking.  But alas, that part of Brooklyn isn’t too popular for taxis and we walked towards the bridge for 30 minutes and when we did land a cab, he misunderstood and took us straight over the bridge.  Ha.  We just pretended from there…walked back over a bit and posed for some pics.  Done.

From the bridge we headed up to do some shopping.  Our destination was Fishs Eddy, an amazing kitchen-y store I thought my sister would love and I’d only seen online.  We stopped along the way at a cute candy store, the Fresh store (i’m obsessed) and after Fishs Eddy, we hit up a Sephora to try on fun lipstick.  Once we tired of shopping, my sister chose Chelsea Market for some eats…so many choices…but we ended up at an Italian place- Rana, because it had seating inside- we’d walked a lot by this time.  The food was sooo good, but the cosmo was the best one i’ve ever had- it had unique ingredients, I can’t remember what- but seriously, so good.

To end our day, we found the High line, a park that was created from an old unused railroad.  Beautiful views and if the weather had been better, I could see us hanging out up there for awhile.  But, it was a little drizzly and we were tired, so we grabbed a taxi to Penn Station and jumped on a train home.  Phew.  We did it.

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Wanna know why I don’t mind the city anymore?  three words: my phone gps.  Ha!  I know, it sounds so silly but honestly- my old memories of the city always include getting lost and walking a ton until we didn’t know where we were…those blocks can go on endlessly.  Back in the day when I used to go a lot, phones weren’t that high-tech yet.  It was sooooo nice to be able to know exactly where we were and what was around us, at all times.  It made the experience so much more enjoyable.  And plus, we weren’t in any crazy tourist crowded areas and it was a weekday.  For reals….this is the way to do NYC.

We still have a few things left on our list, so I’m shocked that I’m even writing this, but WE’LL BE BACK.  Thanks sister. 

yikes.

Only one post in the month of April.  oops.  So perhaps May will see a better showing.

I keep thinking I want to do a NYC post but uploading pictures and stuff just seems like too much work at the moment.  I’m kinda in minimalist mode these days.

Regan got into the car today after school with a big smile on his face and said “mommy, mommy, I am making a surprise for you” and I melted.  I know expecting heartfelt letters of their undying affection on mothers day is a big far-fetched for a 4 and 5 year old but still a girl can dream.  And it’s always fun to see what their teachers come up with for them to give.  It also makes me realize I probably should have been more intentional as a teacher on these special days…it’s all about being memorable and inducing tears, right?  :)  ha!

Our spring break 2016 was a pretty good one, I’ll admit.  Technically it was our first, since last year Jos was only in a school a couple days a week.  Since it was last week, a bit later than everyone else’s, I felt like we could fly under the radar and just chill.  We did “spring break surprises” almost every day…the boy’s favorite was a whaling/dolphin boating adventure in Cape May with their daddy and my favorite was craft extravaganza day with a lunch at Red Robin.  Good times.

And pie.  I discovered a new local place in Manasquan called the Sunburst Pie Co and it’s seriously delicious.  I took the boys for a last hurrah yesterday…blueberry pie and chocolate cream…yum.  I kinda want to have my birthday there this year.  Yes, I’ll be 37 and still always think about my birthday.

The best part about our spring break was that we (bart and I) got to sleep in every single day.  I don’t think we got out of bed before 8:30am any day…and one time slept til 10am.  It was sooooooo blissful.  I’m so glad we didn’t end up taking a trip (not to be confused with a vacation…which doesn’t exist until the kiddos are old)  because we battled some sickness between all of us, and it was so chill to be home and then just choose some day trips for fun.  Digger Land got rained out, as did our beach picnic idea and the zoo…but the kiddos seemed happy as clams with their first spring break experience and keep asking for it again.

Josiah’s 6th birthday is coming up in 32 days…we don’t have a count down or anything.  Gee, I wonder where he gets his love for birthdays from.  I actually bought him a calendar last week so he could check off the days until he turns six.  He hasn’t had a real birthday party since he was 3 years old, so we are planning a dino extravaganza.  Needless to say I’ve been amazon shopping a lot.  Three blow up dinos are going in the pool…numerous giant dino balloons… like, over 4 feet tall… it’s gonna be the best.

All righty, it’s only 8pm but my bed is calling my name so loudly I cannot type another word.  Peace out.

I’m.

I’m currently making a grocery list based off my new eating plan…returning to Body for Life after 12 years.  It was such a good way to lose weight and then maintain my health and I cannot wait to see what happens.

I’m counting down the days until Whole Foods opens nearby.  I haven’t been to one since we moved back to NJ, since the only one for days is far away and I hate grocery shopping with a passion.   Yet, I think the first time I go to WF here I’m gonna need a few hours to wander every single aisle.

I’m starting a new goal with my water intake.  I bought a 50 oz Nalgene bottle and decided that I am gonna try to drink at least 3 of them each day.  I kinda wish I had a catheter and it’s only the first day.

I’m sad that my sister left yesterday, though I felt like we had a great amount of time together.  We did NYC in 24 hours, and hopefully I’ll write a post about it.  And mostly just relaxed the rest of the time…it always makes me happy to see her.  She’s the best.

I’m loving my newest essential oil…lemongrass!  Seriously the best smelling one I’ve diffused…and grapefruit has been a fun addition too.  Lavender is still near the top for my favorite diffused oils which shocks me, because I have always hated the smell of lavender.  Weird.

I’m realizing this blog post is taking way too much thought and I’m not sure I have enough brain power to write anything more.  Alas.

obsessions at the moment

obsessed.

I love this word obsession.  It is so much stronger than likes or loves or enjoys… and thus- our obsessions at the moment.

Maya…books, treats, Finding Nemo, sneaking downstairs to lift mommy’s weights, chewing on toothbrushes, copying all of our words, running outside, climbing on her windowsill instead of napping

Regan…chinese food, kettle corn, writing his name everywhere, working out with mommy and sarah, yogurt, paw patrol, dinosaurs, socks, his new blue shoes, shaking his booty, drumming

Josiah…dinosaurs, paw patrol, jelly sandwiches, broccoli, rainbows, staying up late, reading, Paw Patrol, brushing his teeth, making sure his glasses are clean, ice-cream

Brinks…sleeping in the sun or on our bed, treats, following the littlest around to snatch up anything that drops, cleaning off the table when we aren’t looking, snuggles

Krista…flowers, coffee, pastels, voxer, online shopping, what to plant outside, losing weight, new candle scents, resting, finding a new perfume

Bart…his Bible, turkey and cheese wraps, sierra mist, running, the beginning of surfing season since it’s warmer, funky socks, checkered shirts

 

randomania #275

So I love the blog Cup of Jo, mostly for its plethora of diverse posts on all sorts of subjects.  It’s just interesting and I never know what I will be reading, so it doesn’t get stale.  However, my favorite posts are her links around the web ones and here is one hilarious link I actually laughed out loud at: If Toddlers Had Facebook.

Q-4fCwAAQBAJSince it’s spring, I begin my annual drooling over flower books…they are just so beautiful. One I purchased already is Katie Daisy’s (one of my favorite artists) How to Be a Wildflower and it’s sooooo beautiful.  I have many of her prints framed in my home, but this is her first book.  It’s amazing.  Another flower book that I have my eye on is The Flower Workshop that just came out and I have seen it because I ordered it for a friend…it’s simply gorgeous.

Speaking of books, I’ve been in a reading drought.  However, I finally started AND finished a book recently called When Breathe Becomes Air about a young neurosurgeon who battled terminal cancer.  I know, it sounds sad and horrible…but honestly, the book was really really interesting and I only teared up a couple times until the epilogue- which is 1/4 of the book that his wife wrote when he couldn’t continue.  Then I bawled.  But still, such a good book.

On a lighter note, I’ve been obsessed with Justin’s honey peanut butter.  I used to eat his almond butter by the spoonful but I’m into peanut butter these days, and this is simply the best.  And I’m also still very much in love with my Christmas present- the Homedics Massage Chair.  It’s so so nice to have an intense massage when I need it.  If you are interested, look for a coupon code or sale because they are always offering something.

untitledAnd because I am on Christmas presents…my darling sister gifted me a subscription to a monthly mailing of art by AliMakesThings.  The first month was adorable because it was Christmas themed and the next couple were cute but this month’s package was amazing!  Each one is themed and the latest one was on rest.  So good.  Thanks sister, for extending it for me- I LOVE getting mail.

My sister is coming in less than 3 weeks- hooray!!!  I’m super excited to see her and go on our NYC adventure…we have lots of lists- the best ice-cream, the best donut shop…I can’t wait to finally see the brick and mortar of one of my favorite stores- Fishs Eddy… And hopefully see Jimmy Fallon!  Did you know it’s free?  Let me just say though, it was a process to even get on the waitlist for his show but we should find out next week if we’re in??!

donut_society_key_tagLast but not least…I always have things on my mind that I want to buy for other people.  This donut keychain screams several of my friend’s names and I love it.  And this toddler denim trench coat is seriously the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I think Maya really wants it.  The Zara store is very close to a few other places we are headed to in new york so eek- I can’t wait!

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the best $65 i ever spend

I’m sure the title is a little blown out of proportion, but seriously that was a thought that flew through my head as I pressed the pay now button on our pay pal account today.

What did I spend it on you might ask?  School lunches.  I started out the year only buying the boys hot lunch on Fridays- which was wonderful because by the time I get to Friday there is rarely enough food to scrounge up for two lunch boxes and not enough brain cells left for me to get creative.  Then I started dreading lunch making on Sunday nights and thought of a better idea…thus…$65/month gets my kiddos good food on Mondays and Fridays and makes me smile every single week.  I’m not kidding.  Every time I remember I don’t have to make their lunch, I cheer inside my head.

While I realize that might be an atrocity to some of you to spend $4.50 on pizza or spaghetti or nuggets or mac-n-cheese (the usual rotation that I know they will definitely eat) but I think it’s seriously worth probably even more considering the time I get to keep not thinking about lunch.  Because let’s face it, the actual lunch-making process is very short and especially because I tend to make all the sandwiches for the entire week in one sitting, it’s really rather quick.  But, the idea of it is what kills me.

I know, I’m weird.  But I’m okay with that.  And soon enough they will be making their own lunches and I will smile even wider.